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First ever family ski holiday

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The idea of TO's taking care everything or TO's making your holiday hassle free I think should be taken with a very large pinch of salt. If you go down this route please keep your expectations in check.

And hence, I echo others that DIY, drive and self cater is the way to go for the reasons many have nicely laid out.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We have used TO for the last few years and always been happy with the value .

DIY putting everything together for the same trips almost always worked out more expensive than e.g. Crystal to the same hotel.
Especially as we get a discount of min 5 % with most of the main operators .

Often the flight costs and transfer from airport was the deal breaker.
Crystal have their own airline and transfers via coach which obviously work out very good value for them (and us).

Not been perfect , they had a meltdown in bad weather a few years ago , but it would not have been much different if we were under our own steam.

Tried self catering at Xmas a couple of years ago and found the experience a faff frankly with kids .

I do not really want to be bothered about shopping for groceries on holiday but eating out every night worked out very expensive for a family of 4. And the lack of choice at breakfast was annoying.
You had to clean up after yourself. Plus trecking out for dinner every night in the cold and snow was a pain.

But I appreciate everyone is different!

So we are back to half board .
Good breakfast selection, few apres drinks early bar and then one can shower and change and have a good meal without having to step outside again.
We will have two rooms - one for kids and one for us.
Smaller rooms not really an issue as you are hardly ever in them anyway...
Hotel staff always on hand to answer questions . The rooms are cleaned every day .
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

But I appreciate everyone is different!

Very much so! And thankfully so as well.

I'm complete opposite - enjoy the evening cooking and slobbing around apartment
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Boris wrote:
Quote:

But I appreciate everyone is different!

Very much so! And thankfully so as well.

I'm complete opposite - enjoy the evening cooking and slobbing around apartment


I think if it was just me and some pals having a sneaky extra week away , I would go down this route too to keep costs down....

Ski all day , lunch on slopes , apres , spag bol and a few beers.

But with the wife and kids , I want some down time and being half board in a hotel allows me to enjoy the holiday...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mentioned to the missus the possibility of getting a cheap TO chalet deal in April and she was horrified by the prospect of having set eating times and having to make herself look decent around the place.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@sheffskibod, as you say each to their own and can see the attraction

I enjoy the cooking element and see it as part of holiday, but if I didn't I'd be going catered. It's your holiday so you need to do what you will enjoy and are comfortable with.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Layne wrote:
Mentioned to the missus the possibility of getting a cheap TO chalet deal in April and she was horrified by the prospect of having set eating times and having to make herself look decent around the place.


I have never felt the need to make myself look “half descent”? Just pull on some jeans and a top.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
pam w wrote:
Some interesting numbers. Some holiday costs - notably all the ski-related costs - are pretty well fixed. One big variable is eating and drinking. @FrediKanoute spent £200 a day. Others spend far, far, less. I have never spent anything near that amount. It's misleading to compare costs for "self catered" versus "catered" holidays without looking further into this. We used to do low budget catered chalets with our kids (never in school holidays, usually cheapest early January weeks) and spend practically nothing over and above the package price. Big breakfast. Lunch was a non event, maybe plate of chips, and we always took a big stack of snack bars. Back to the chalet to fill up on mugs of tea, baguette and jam, cake. Then dinner with "free" wine. As the kids got bigger they would stock up on cheap supermarket gin etc ("old Lady's") at the start of the week!

Those holidays were far cheaper than having to feed the family at lunch time and evenings at restaurant prices. Especially on the occasions we got discounts of one kind or another (last minute booking, Ski Show special offers, etc).


Just to clarify, that £1200 is an estimate - I should get the credit card statement in the next week and I'll update accordingly.

It didn't all go on eating out. I would say a fair bit was spent at the Sherpa on groceries. We had 2 evening meals out in Tignes, one with the kids and the other without. They cost around €230 in total. The kids generally ate lunch back at the apartment etc. The £1,200 also paid for things like the kids afternoon activities (snow-tubing, trampolining etc) and tips to the ski instructors and nanny.

I agree though, from a "catering" perspective, a chalet or T/O probably gives you better value - more food, free booze and generally great quality. One thing I will say, even when we went with a T/O or a Catered Chalet we still spent money. Looking back it was still between £350 and £500.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I will also say we did Esprit for the first 3 years in La Rosiere (Chalet Amelia).
Takes a lot of the heavy lifting the first time.
Right next to the nursery slopes so ski in / out
Loads of other kids of similar ages to play with. A family friendly resort.
Not sure when your easter hols are but they have availability 31 March this year for £ 549 pp (half price)...
That will include flights , transfers , accommodation and chalet board .
Still need to add lift passes, lessons , ski hire and spending money.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

I have never felt the need to make myself look “half descent”? Just pull on some jeans and a top.

@NickyJ, That's a bit over-dressed for me wink
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Catered v self-catered is one of the dividers, along with

DIY v TO
Fly v Drive
Ski rent v buy

Ultimately you have to do what works for you and ensures a relaxing holiday - it may take a few trips to work it out of course
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thing is, none of those dividers is straightforwardly about cost. For me, the perfect holiday (not just skiing, but other kinds of holidays too) would be in good quality accommodation with the option to cater for ourselves or to eat at a variety of good places around and about (for example in summer, a villa with a pool). I would rarely choose a hotel, whatever the budget. For people who want to rent a self-contained apartment the offerings from TOs are extremely limited - and mostly in France.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@pam w, agreed and hadn't intended them to be - it's personal preference
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I am not sure what the OP makes of this thread or if she is still reading it .
She originally asked about Tour Operator holidays in Feb for Scandinavia and the thread is now mainly about DIY in France at Easter Puzzled . I guess that's Snowheads
I hope she is finding it useful and will ask questions if appropriate.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
As the OP hasn't bothered to respond to any of the points made I think we are perfectly justified in having a thread drifty conversation of our own, @T Bar.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@pam w,
I agree , my comments weren't meant to be disparaging, more light hearted comment and just meant to encourage the OP to come in and ask .
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I suppose the counter-question to the OP was "Why?" i.e. what made you decide to go for a TO? Because a lot of people here, me included, have found that our TO-based holidays turned out to be disappointing more often than not. So while TO offers good discounts and an organised transfer, they aren't a Voyages Jules Verne category and so there's a finer balance between self-organising and package than you might think.

I think this is what the Forum is very good at - people arrive with various assumptions and the Forum provides feedback and experience that helps them make a more informed decision.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
LaForet wrote:
I suppose the counter-question to the OP was "Why?" i.e. what made you decide to go for a TO? Because a lot of people here, me included, have found that our TO-based holidays turned out to be disappointing more often than not. So while TO offers good discounts and an organised transfer, they aren't a Voyages Jules Verne category and so there's a finer balance between self-organising and package than you might think.

I think this is what the Forum is very good at - people arrive with various assumptions and the Forum provides feedback and experience that helps them make a more informed decision.


Its a good question. I can only answer from my experience. We went with a T/O because our kids were young and we weren't sure we could organise everything to do with skiing well enough. Also we'd just had a a couple of Summer holidays which were great with the T/O so we figured why not.

Why did we move to self catering? initially cost. Half term with T/O's was well out of our price range. We didn't want to pull the kids out of school so we opted to self cater. Would we go back to a T/O? Probably not.
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